I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, pretty sure the sweat beads on my eyebrows were more than visible. I sweat quite heavily, especially on my face (not sure if it’s because I’m fat or I just get anxious really quick. Must be the former, but that’s another story for another day).
Anyway, I sit there, listening to a “friend” ask me – all while staring me squarely in the eye – “What are your plans for your life, really, Le?” She probably felt she was being of service to me by opening my eyes and helping me realize how I’m living such a shitty life. Well, it felt that way to me that time as well. Honestly, I was stunned and couldn’t quite put together what I should say. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t come up with a snarky retort or snide remark. My sarcasm was off. It’s pretty difficult to rebut something so sensitive, something that’s been bothering you, something so close to home – something you believe to be true.
I got pregnant at a young age. I was two months away from my 22nd birthday when I gave birth to Yuri. Yeah, I was early to the party. Like any nervous girl, I had thought of so many things which today, I am grateful I didn’t do. Yes, I considered the unthinkable but my then-boyfriend, now-husband, asked me not to do anything that would make him lose his respect for me. More than love, I firmly believe that respect for each other should come first in any relationship. I couldn’t risk that.
My “friend” waited patiently for me to answer, while sipping her coffee. I was annoyed because I couldn’t, for the life of me, answer back (verbal wrangling should be on my resume, by the way). It became awkward quickly because I was sure she saw that a nerve had been touched. My face might have given it away. I’m SURE my face had given it away.
I shrugged and told her, “I just wanna chill.” Clearly, I don’t chill. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the epitome of #NoChill when it comes to life, love, friendships, work, and what-not. It’s just that she didn’t deserve to hear about my “plans.” Nobody who questions your life choices does.
The thing about that night was I let her question get to me. Even when I told myself she had nothing to do with whatever my plans were, I realized that I was genuinely hurt by that question. And the only mistake I committed that night was not that I let her get away that easily (I could have really made that conversation longer and more awkward), but because I allowed her to influence how I looked at myself.
Remember that whatever you do, whenever you want to do it is your business – and yours alone. Anyone who isn’t even remotely affected with whatever it is you want or plan to do has no business snooping around. I’ve learned my lesson, and I’ve learned it well. Anyone who forcibly enters your life and drops unnecessary and unwanted advice is nothing but a nuisance. Lead them out and lock the door.
Take pride in your life, whether or not you think it’s shitty (usually it isn’t and you’re just over-reacting). Treasure laughter and memories more than things and money. Take pride in whatever you’ve accomplished, no matter how small. Remember: it was YOU who made it happen.
This post is for me – to remind myself that I am something. This post is something to read back when that feeling of inadequacy comes and visits again.
You don’t just drop out because you fell one time; what you do is pick yourself up and start again – slowly at first, building the momentum. It will all work out.
This post is also for you – to tell you that failures and mistakes don’t define who you are. Ultimately, we are all in this together. It’s just that, others have it better. Their jumping board was built strategically better – privilege, as they say. And that’s not your fault, and you don’t deserve crap from anyone who feels the need to make you feel any less great than the wonderful person you truly are.
This post is to say that I am not required to answer any questions (although I just sort of did by writing this), and that all answers will present themselves . . . eventually.
Hush, don’t rush. Life is not a race.